Russia Conduct Surveillance Flyover to Inspect Canada’s Military, Industrial Infrastructure
July 2, 2012 – originally published June 26, 2012
The Russians are conducting what has quietly become their annual flyover of key Canadian sites this week, revealing the two countries’ regular surveillance of one another at a time when a spy scandal and Arctic sovereignty have markedly strained relations.
Russia has routinely exercised a 10-year-old treaty right to fly over Canada and inspect the country’s military infrastructure, industrial complexes, cities and transportation hubs, according to a National Defence spokesman.
He said it is the only one out of 34 countries to fly over Canadian soil under the Open Skies treaty.
The upcoming flight is novel in its timing, too: It is Russia’s first information-gathering flight since a Canadian intelligence officer was arrested under suspicion of espionage, allegedly for the Russians, back in January.
Capt. Matt Zalot, a National Defence spokesman, said this week’s Russian flyover was planned long before that, back in the fall.